On 24 September Bath’s Holburne Museum opens the exhibition The View From Here: new landscape photographs by Mark Edwards, one of the most intriguing and thoughtful landscape photographers working today. His work responds to the tradition of British landscape painting and accompanies the autumn exhibition, Gainsborough’s Landscapes: Themes and Variations.
Mark Edwards has produced a complementary body of six large scale colour landscape prints of astonishing quality and detail. Edwards’ huge colour prints mirror the scale of Gainsborough’s paintings and reveal great respect for the painterly tradition, whilst bringing into question the standard by which we measure beauty.
Bath, 2011 by Mark Edwards
These works, made on an 8 x 10 inch view camera, invite comparison between approaches to the depiction of our landscape over time and through different media. One of the works Edwards has produced is a large transparency illuminated in a light box, as a contemporary response to the cinematic dimension to Gainsborough’s work. Gainsborough constructed an early form of viewing box. He then painted his landscapes onto glass and lit them from behind using candles. He referred to them as ‘transparent paintings’.
These new images are centred on East Anglia and Bath, both areas associated with Gainsborough. Based in Norfolk, Edwards has always been conscious of the visual traditions of East Anglia and the paintings of both Gainsborough and Constable in particular.
He uses a large format camera balanced on top of a tall ladder, much like the pioneering photographers of the nineteenth century, and visits places many times before photographing them. Edwards’ work is most often suffused in a cloudless grey light, but in these new works the sky is far more painterly, with greater definition and colour.
Edwards’ work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and has been acquired by such collections as the V & A Museum and No 10 Downing Street, as well as numerous corporate and private collections. The show has been curated by Katy Barron, a freelance curator of photography. A full colour catalogue with a commissioned essay will also accompany the exhibition.
Mark Edwards has received support from Arts Council England for this exhibition. The photographs have been produced by Metro Imaging and framed by John Jones Framers.